Although a “road map” for the next-generation ATC system will be released June 23, members of the House aviation subcommittee at a hearing yesterday expressed some concerns about their efforts to date. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is worried about oversight, particularly ownership of ADS-B, the “backbone” of the NextGen system.
Berlin Tempelhof airport operators are challenging recent decisions by both a Berlin lower court and the city authorities to close the downtown airport on October 31 next year. Windrose Air and six other executive air charter operators–AFI, AAF, AeroKing, Heli Union, Rotorflug and TAG–have filed a complaint against the latest judgment. A Windrose spokesperson told AIN that closing the airport will be expensive.
Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate aviation subcommittee, and ranking member Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) are expected to introduce an FAA reauthorization bill this week to counter one the Bush Administration released in February.
• At the end of March, lawmakers took a spring break that ended in mid-April, leaving in a holding pattern approval of House and Senate supplemental emergency spending bills totaling $124 billion for the Iraq war. On their return, they
The interim final rule from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) detailing all the hoops that general aviation will have to jump through to gain access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) has yet to be officially published in the Federal Register, but that hasn’t dampened the NBAA’s jubilation.
Although the final outcome is yet unclear, the House of Representatives amended its $14.4 billion FAA appropriations bill last week to halt an FAA plan to turn over the operation of its Flight Service Stations to a private contractor. The amendment voids the February contract with Lockheed Martin, whereby 38 of the current 61 FSS facilities would be closed and 20 of the remaining 23 would be operated by the aerospace giant.
General aviation trade groups based in the Washington, D.C. area have joined with a disparate group of mostly rural communities, organizations and the volunteer-pilot Air Care Alliance in battling the Bush Administration’s plan to hike fuel taxes and institute a series of user fees to help fund the FAA and the NextGen ATC system.
On May 9, procedures and an application process will be in effect for reimbursing FBOs and other providers of general aviation ground-support services at five airports in the Washington, D.C. area “for the direct and incremental financial losses they incurred while the airports were closed” after 9/11.
The FAA is facing questions about its proposed Airport Improvement Program (AIP) redistribution and its possible effect on the needs of small airports. A preliminary report from the Government Accountability Office says smaller airports will not be able to rely on passenger facility charges to offset any reduction in AIP funding.
Despite the standoff between Boeing and the Russian government over import tax relief for U.S.-made commercial jets, the Chicago-based manufacturer insists that its participation in the Sukhoi-led Russian Regional Jet has not yet run its course. A spokeswoman told AIN that Boeing remains under contract with Sukhoi until the end of this year, and that the lack of progress in talks with the government bears no relationship to the U.S.